The truth sets you free and it also helps fellow car hackers to avoid corrupted humanoids. This is a transcript of events that happened to me while replacing my clutch with Sachs SRE and Darkside Developments flywheel – the failure of law system & consumer protection, this-is-not-my-fault syndrome, bullshit and lies from Darkside Developments and exploitation of human nature such as integrity, naivety in trust. Money dont change humanoids – they merely show who they truly are !
Ever wondered why every company has perfect rating with little or no negative reviews? Nothing is what it seems. When we’ve built Internet in nineties we had a romantic vision of free information and knowledge. I wonder when and why it all went wrong. Internet is corrupted just as world of Matrix and truth is instantly erased from SocNet. Car/tuning forums are sponsored by very same fools who are scared from truth. You can see from Google Reviews there are some unhappy customers with similar experience to mine.
- product must fit its designed purpose, must be manufactured according to norms in its industry.
- if you buy a product you must inspect it because if you fail so, IT IS YOUR FAULT you don’t know anything about manufacturing process of product and how it suppose to work. (in other words, if you buy a clutch you must be mechanical engineer, machinist and you must know metallurgy, engineering norms and so on)
- if you want something done right, do it yourself – we live in perfect world where commercial companies can charge you amusing sums for its incompetence but you cannot claim anything, especially if someone does return you favor and you have no invoices/evidence to support your claims !!!
- consumer protection/law is illusion of safety that “works” only till you start to seek help from law. Even if rights are “clearly” written in some weird language, you soon find out you have only one right…to shut up.
- if you help, it will turns against you once shit hits the fan
- it doesn’t matter whether you follow law or not because you will be fucked both ways anyway but you have to try !
- law failed and supports criminals (Darkside Developments); I have no replacement for faulty part and my car sits in garage
- SRE flywheel costs about 400€, labor costs for clutch replacement is at least 400€ + wheel aligement another 200€ (Skoda authorised garage). 1000€ damage + already paid money for workshop rent, creating evidence of faulty flywheel.
Long story short
I have bought a clutch kit from Darkside Developments (hereinafter called “DD” or “trader”). I always do repairs by myself because post-apocalyptic world is full of incompetent humanoids with weak spine and no integrity whatsoever – motto of modern business is “quick, cheap crap”. If you still have brain, you can learn and achieve anything without theoretical education. If you wanna do it right, you have to do it yourself.
I have stripped both axles, battery, air-box in order to access gearbox. With help of my friend, we removed gearbox. Proceeding with stripping original Skoda clutch. Ready for assembling new clutch from Sach and DD flywheel – everything goes as planned what can go wrong, right? It took me 4 hours – not bad for one man job (DD claims it takes 4 hours and 300GBP + VAT to replace clutch on Skoda Octavia 1Z3 :-). We have replaced a clutch in VW Touran in about 8 hours (two skilled servicemen + owner as slave for mindless tasks)
One hour before lunch, I am mounting a new flywheel from DD but it doesn’t fit as suppose to. At first glance, there is missing radius at inside mounting bore compared to original Skoda flywheel. Not a big deal, it is usual disease among lazy/incompetent machinist – I see it all the time at work. You either make 30° chamfer for easy mounting or at least radius.
Sand paper and 3M® Scotch Brite resolve the mounting problem. The DD flywheel is finally mounted, bolts are secured by torque wrench according to Skoda’s specification. My friends make always comments about my precision and mechanical engineering experience – “Why do you use Loctite® Threadlocker“; “torque wrench is for losers, I have torque wrench in my hand” it is easy to talk shit if you have no experience as most do.
Those who know don’t speak and those who speak don’t know. I wish they could see what I have seen in my 20 years career. What does vibration to bolts or rotary parts, secured by feeling or lack of knowledge and maintenance. Those who survived “Sayano-Shushenskaya dam disater” can tell story.
Double check discovered more problems. Despite the DD flywheel is mounted as usually, bolts tightened to 60Nm torque as required by Skoda. There is a gap between the flywheel and crankshaft flange on one side. Both faces suppose to sit on each other without any gaps whatsoever.
It is 40°C outside and I am starting to sweat not only by unnatural heat of workshop – it is that good old “déjà vu” from work “Can you fix it? No, it is fucked ! ” feeling.
I am fed up with this crap and going to lunch. After lunch, I’ve asked my friend for double check of my work – we didn’t find any problems on my part. It is fucked !!!
Simple clutch swap, what can go wrong. Over an hour wasted by figuring out what is wrong. It is time to call the seller.
14th August 2018 14:16 – first e-mail with attached hand-drawing of potential issue.
Followed by phone call – unfortunately, there was language barrier combined with distorted international telecommunication connection. It is hard to explain technical problems to fellow engineer, try explain something to person outside his expertise.
Surprisingly quick reply. I feel better…for now.
Do you recall summary? You must be knowledgeable expert because you must inspect purchased goods upon arrival otherwise it is all your fault !!! This argument really made my day – I wanna see people from “Customer protection” office how they inspect a part for run-out, tolerances and also where they check it. According to the seller and law, you must have workshop with turning machine, measuring tools such as calipers or better yet CMM. I am sure every car enthusiastic have such tools ROFL.
15th August 11:01 – almost a day after disaster (hereinafter called “DAD”) and my car sits in workshop and I am paying 10€/hour rent. Furthermore, I have to do someone else’s work. What a beautiful world we live in where you always pay for incompetence of others not only by wasted energy.
Social engineering never killed everyone and if you wanna know something, simply ask. Darkside Developments just unwillingly released their dirty secret – they have no idea about design or manufacturing because they don’t manufacture, nor design as they proudly claim on their website. That would explain why they have no idea what am I talking about in mechanical engineering lingo.
Of course, outsourcing is common disease of western world – they are sellers not producers ! There is very few countries that can make outsourcing work with strict rules and quality inspection process (Japanese, Switzerland, Germans just to mention few)
Never try to help because it will turn against you
Picture is worth of thousand words – even skilled machinist or designer have hard time to understand where is problem. I understand but why should I do someone else’s work? That’s why we always do Quality Inspection for critical parts that may cause severe injuries or death to their users !!! Ever wondered why parts have serial numbers? Because we have inspection protocol for every critical part and we can promptly find out what went wrong.
I have to make some evidence in order to prove my claims. In perfect world where manufacturers are responsible, seller honest – customer buys product, install it and happily enjoy benefits of hard earned money. One can only dream because that is only free thing in nature ! Nothing ever goes according to plan and there is always variables that you cannot control.
My educated estimate was once again correct – I hate to be right all the time because it causes friction with tExperts ! There is where I made a mistake because we slightly modified faulty flywheel with hope it may work. It is tough decision because so much time, energy and money has been already wasted and your car still sits in workshop. You cannot use it and you have to wait another two weeks for replacement part to arrive. Furthermore, you have to pay again for labor costs !!! As you can see, no matter what you do – you will be fucked up both ways anyway !
16th August 2018 7:00 – Rented workshop owner’s patience did run out. I have been kicked out from rented workshop and I have ultimatum to “assemble this shit and get out”. The evidence has been made, video posted to DD, dodgy flywheel has been mounted but it still doesn’t fit properly.
My guess is that mounting bore on flywheel is an oval and not perpendicular to mounting face. Furthermore, the mounting face was not straight. If mount face is not straight and bore is improperly machined, whole balancing is useless.
Can you fix it? No it is fucked !
My educated estimate was once again correct – I hate to be right all the time because it causes friction with tExperts ! I have assembled car and took it for spin. Guess what, it doesn’t work as suppose to. Single Mass Flywheel aka SMF is know for its rough idle but it suppose to not make any vibration nor noise at 2000-4000rpm. I happen to have a friend with same engine and Sachs SRE clutch with original Sachs SRE flywheel and guess what it is not noisy at all !!!
Meanwhile, DD replies and tries to bribe me with shut-the-fuck-up bonus of 300GBP store credit. It is typical patter of desperate fools who fucked up and trying to avoid legal suits against them. Of course, when I work I do not have time for reading e-mails.
When shit hits the fan
17th August 13:53 – almost 72 hours DAD. I am reading finally DD e-mail and replying. Finishing touches on my car, securing bolts with thread locker, double checking and hoping it will work. If I don’t account for other upgrades and modifications – replacing the clutch on Skoda Octavia 2.0TDi 1Z3 takes 10-12 hours for one skilled serviceman. Not bad, compared to usual 8 hours labor for two men in any competent garage.
I still wonder about those 4 hours supermen from England – I worked in UK for 6.5 years and they are lazy and incompetent. One wonders how they did it in 4 hours ROFL. Even if you ignore manufacturer’s norms for replacing bolts with new ones with thread locker and using correct tightening procedures (usual practice by most commercial garages) – there is no way you can do it in less than 6 hours because more people won’t help you since there is barely place for four hands to work at once.
Once all issues have been resolved I have done some local testing but you never know until you try what your car really can do…in mountains.
Meanwhile, DD replies and confirms crediting the bribe. After some misunderstandings and some e-mail communication to clarify an amount of the bribe. That’s where shit really hits the fan and blame-game-bullshit begins.
Suddenly, 300GBP store credit is 160GBP because there seems to be a fee of 140GBP for converting store credit to real money. So you have faulty product, you still have no replacement part and you have to pay extra labor cost for further repairs (300GBP +VAT from 4 hours supermen in Autodata and 170GBP + VAT for wheel alignment according to DD website)
It is fair compensation right? You get 160GBP and you pay 470GBP + VAT 😀 And they wonder I wanna sue them. There is another case of social engineering where you ask if they can replace clutch as well. As turns out, they don’t manufacture nor do clutch replacements as they claim on their website. If you do such a service, you know that it doesn’t take 4 hours to replace clutch 😀
Time where all turns against me
I was really not happy about progress with my car after 1000 km of driving – too much noise and vibration. I have parked my car in garage and used parent’s car because a clutch replacement is necessary. I have tried to reason with DD but they politely told me fuck off because it is my fault that I have re-machined their faulty product in order to reduce costs of this comedy.
One wonders how simply clutch replacement that takes one day including wheel alignment and costs 560€ (15€/h workshop + 15€/h my time + 200€ wheel alignment) can turn out it in an international affair of biblical proportions ??? 😀
They don’t mind I have wasted time from 14th August 14:00 till 16th August 9:30 to prove and fix they incompetence. It is almost two days gone – you think owner of rented workshop cares? Don’t be naive, you pay 15€/h and it has been almost 44 hours times 15€/h = 660€ but it is my friend and he charged me only for business hours so I have paid just 10 hours times 15€/h = 150€ + 50€ a guy who rented me his workshop for the flywheel inspection and modification + 3 hours of my wasted time. I have just paid 245€ for someone else’s incompetence…beautiful world.
Aftermath and failure of law system
After last e-mail and common excuses of desperate fools, comes ignorance. They refused to reply to my mails anymore because they feel it is all my fault and I exaggerate costs. They don’t mind to charge you 50GBP/h + VAT but try to claim real costs ROFL. I have no replacement flywheel nor working car and I have paid 245€ for nothing.
I live in Austria but the clutch kit has been purchased in another EU country. I have naturally studied consumer’s rights. It is clear that law is on my side because I am a victim of this charade. Is it really law protecting your rights? You wish, it is just an illusion till you wish to enforce your rights by authorities.
I didn’t know whom to contact. I have found out an Internet Ombudsman but he failed but he suggested ECC aka European Consumer Center. There was hope again because they are true authorities in consumers’ rights or are they?
Simply put, ECC UK believes DD offer is reasonable and I cannot claim anything because I am an criminal who wants to rip off poor trader who sells crap and don’t bother to inspect parts they “manufacture”.
Desperation increases to twisting-facts-level because they can no longer ignore customers nor Internet Ombudsman. Suddenly, “the free replacement offer from 16th August 2018 9:30” has been made before I have re-machined the flywheel on 15th August and fitted the very next morning before they even replied to my e-mail. It looks like England has some special time zone or calendar system.
Why the hell should I pay extra costs for obviously faulty part? Why the hell should I waste my time again for doing the very same job? I simply asked local garages how much they would charge me. Skoda AT said 600€ clutch replacement because custom parts are not in standard price range and 200€ for wheel geometry. Pretty much standard prices as charged by DD – they offer fitting service from 250GBP + VAT and 170GBP + VAT for wheel alignment as already mentioned earlier. In other words, DD price would be from 504GBP or 567€.
Of course that is normal intelligent human deal but we are dealing with rogue trader. I have lived in UK long enough to discover these people have integrity of happily married men occupying Amsterdam’s Red Light District. If I have returned faulty part, what evidence do you have other than some YouTube video that will be easily thrown away in court as fake. I have been twice in legal battle while in UK and it is good fun to beat fools with facts.
You have to make an evidence. Since, there was no solution from their side, I wanted to pay for proper Quality Inspection by 3rd party that is clear evidence in court. Of course, CMM protocols costs from 200€ as I have seen at work. Also I am without car and need a replacement car. One wonders what they expected by 160GBP bribe where damage is at least 600€ ???
As turned out, poeple at ECC are confused by facts as well. They consider 160GBP bribe as “good offer”. One wonders how 160GBP covers 600€ repairs based on hard evidence with little screw up on my side.
As of 6th October 2019 (over 365 DAD), I am writing a last reply to ECC. Maybe, they learn to read the real facts instead of twisted bullshits from DD. Maybe, they will finally do their job in protecting customers’ rights. TO BE CONTINUED. While, I am visiting a lawyer what legal action can do about it if ECC inevitably fails.